So You Want Natural Stone Counters: A Look At Your Options

If you tell your builder that you want natural stone counters in your kitchen, they will generally proceed to ask you, "which stone?" This might be a question you're not quite prepared to answer if you have not remodeled a kitchen in a while. There are several different types of stone that are regularly used to make counters, and they all have their own unique characteristics — so it is important that you are informed before making your choice. Here's a look at the most popular options.


Marble is a very glamorous stone that is known for its long, sweeping veins. It can be buffed to a gorgeous matte finish or polished to a gleam. Marble comes in subdued shades. You'll see a lot of white and gray, although there are also slabs with more of a beige undertone. Marble is really hard, but it does scratch more easily than some of the other options on this list, and it's a bit porous, so you need to wipe up spills quickly.


Limestone is a type of stone that is really high in calcium. In fact, most slabs of limestone have specks of whitish calcium scattered through their otherwise gray surfaces. Limestone is on the softer side, so you will need to be careful with it. However, it is usually finished more roughly, so scratches and dings do not end up that obvious. Limestone is a good choice for outdoor and rustic kitchens. Its neutral color allows you to get creative with your color scheme, too.


Granite is known for making a bold statement. It is very hard and scratch-resistant. You can put hot pans on it, and you can even cut on it. (Although that is hard on your knives, it won't hurt the granite.) Granite comes in an array of colors. You can find more neutral slabs and also some with big, bold veins of color like red and purple. It's usually polished to a sheen for a high-end finish.


Soapstone is named for its soap-like look. It is greenish-gray in color and has a rough texture. Most people find that it looks old-fashioned, which makes it a good choice for a traditional kitchen. It can withstand hot pans, but it does scratch easily. You can, however, have it resurfaced pretty easily and affordably.

Talk to your local kitchen remodeling company to learn more about these and other counter surface options.

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